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Sep 19, 2010

Eto'o insists he is a team player

Inter star Samuel Eto'o has rejected claims he is a disruptive influence on the dressing room and claims Lionel Messi pleaded with Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola not to sell him.

Eto'o, 29, has been portrayed as a difficult character and Guardiola is thought to have sold the player to Inter in 2009 because he felt he was a negative presence at the club.

However, Eto'o told L'Equipe Mag: "When Guardiola wanted me out, Messi went to him and said, 'Let whoever you want go, but not Samuel'. All my coaches will tell you that I am a great professional. I've not always been a role model in terms of discipline, but I have always been rigorous and professional."

He added: "I've played and I've been successful with Ronaldinho, with Messi - with many great players - and if I couldn't stand playing with other great players, why would I have helped bring my friend Thierry Henry to Barcelona?

"I don't fear for my place - on the contrary, I work for the success of the team. When Ronaldinho arrived at Barcelona, they did not win anything. After my arrival, we won it all."

It was also suggested that Eto'o tried to take control of Cameroon coach Paul Le Guen's team selection during the World Cup this summer, but the striker said: "This is absolutely false."

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